What Does A Diesel Mechanic Do?

April 5, 2024

Are you unsure what a diesel mechanic does? Maybe you are considering changing careers and want to know more about a diesel mechanics role? Whatever brought you here today, we have the answers for you.

Today, we have a guide covering what a diesel mechanic does and guidance on how you could become a diesel mechanic.

What Does A Diesel Mechanic Do?

A diesel mechanic's role is to inspect, service, and repair diesel engines. This can cover various machines and vehicles, including farm equipment, cars, buses, and trucks. Many sectors run on diesel, which we have listed below:

  • Transportation - freight locomotives, local shipping companies, school buses, and regional transit buses
  • Agriculture - irrigation pumps, fertiliser spreaders, tractors, and harvesters
  • Construction - dump trucks, cranes, pavers, road rollers, and excavators
  • Commercial generators - backup power for housing complexes, business parks, and hospitals

The role comes with various tasks and duties you would be expected to perform. Listed below are the typical tasks you would complete daily:

  • Diagnose: Using diagnostic software and scan tools to identify uses under the hood
  • Inspect: Perform inspections of vital systems like steering, brakes, suspension, emissions, and exhaust system
  • Repair: Carry out repairs such as replacing the transmission, replacing a damaged part, or overhauling the engine
  • Maintain: Perform preventative measures like brake checks, wheel alignment, oil changes, tyre rotations, and fluid washes

All of these tasks can be performed on any of the diesel machinery, ranging from cars to farming equipment. Every day as a diesel mechanic would be different, but you can expect some or all of these tasks.

What Qualities Does A Diesel Mechanic Need?

A diesel mechanic should be passionate about working with machinery and providing customers or the business with excellent service. They need several qualities to achieve this, which we have outlined below.


Diesel mechanics must be knowledgeable, and aware of everything related to diesel vehicles, equipment, and engines. They will need to know all the procedures required to keep them running so they can know when issues arise and what is needed to repair them.

Problem Solvers

A diesel mechanic must also have excellent problem-solving skills. They must be able to think through the components of issues as they appear and know what solution is best. To do this, they must consider what is best for the customer to ensure long-lasting results.


Whether working in a mechanic garage or for a large company, diesel mechanics must be excellent communicators. They will be required to speak to customers, explain the issue and solution process, or speak to service advice for estimates.

They might also need to speak to other mechanics or their boss. They must talk about technical topics in a way everyone can understand, regardless of their experience with engines or other components.

Tech Savvy

A diesel mechanic should also be quite tech-savvy and be able to use the new technologies that diesel engines have. They should also be driven to continue learning about how these technologies evolve.

How Do I Become A Diesel Mechanic?

To become a diesel mechanic, you must complete an apprenticeship and have formal training. This approach might be different for you, depending on your previous experience and roles, but generally, the following steps would need to be followed:

  1. Enrol on a pre-apprenticeship course to see what working in the industry is like (optional).
  2. Complete an apprenticeship in your local area; you will need a host employer to support you.
  3. Take part in formal training options during your apprenticeship. These will provide you with more on-the-job training and allow you to learn about more machinery you might work with once you are employed.
  4. Once you have completed your apprenticeship, it is time to look for a job. Local job-seeking sites can be helpful here.
  5. Continue your training with additional upskilling courses, like diplomas. These are optional but can help you with career progression, especially if you want to branch out into other machines or run your own company one day.

You can also speak to diesel mechanics in your area to learn about the paths available to you and what specific training courses they recommend to help you achieve your new career.

Final Thoughts

A diesel mechanic inspects, services, and repairs diesel engines. A diesel mechanic is a highly skilled position, being knowledgeable, an excellent communicator, problem solver, and tech-savvy. With various diesel engines and machinery being used across Australia, no two days will be the same!


Urban Splatter

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